W2 Mays: Day 1

On Tuesday morning, W2 met for the first time as a full crew since exams for one final outing before bumps. But in a cruel twist of fate, Philine sliced her hand open while getting the boat out and, after a trip to A&E, was declared to be unable to row for an unknown length of time - possibly one day, possibly ten. Thus ensued a mad scramble to find a sub for Wednesday morning, with Anna Faulkner persuaded to risk life and limb (and injured rib) to come to our rescue despite Tuesday night's trip to Cindies.

The carefully-perfected crew order was reshuffled, Georgie went on an emergency tub session to learn how to row on bow side and our scratch crew assembled on Wednesday with an open mind about the challenge ahead. Our plans to make the most of the practice starts on the row down were thwarted by carnage in the M5 division and subsequent delays, so we had to make do with a couple of sneaky rolling starts. 

Spot the special guest

As Alex counted down the seconds from the bank, we prepared to do our first ever standing start as a crew. The cannon went and everything else was forgotten as we avoided going mad on the rate, focusing instead on power and staying technical. The start was smooth and we were already eating up the water between us and Selwyn W2 ahead. Hughes/Lucy W2 behind had gone harder off the start but we pushed them away once we'd settled into our rhythm after an early stride. The boat was moving well and the game was on. It quickly became clear that Selwyn had no chance - there was a rapid succession of whistles from one to two to three, and their cox conceded just as we went under the motorway bridge after a grand total of 44 strokes.

After the bump

Hughes/Lucy went on to overbump Pembroke W3 so we will be chasing them tomorrow, which is set to be quite a bit more challenging than today's clinical dispatch. Tune in tomorrow to find out who our next guest will be as mystery sub.

(Scratch) crew photo

Day 1 May Bumps 2017 - W1 (the dreaded sandwich boat)

We may love carbs but being the sandwich boat was not an ideal start to our Mays campaign. We had a race plan to stick by: fend off kings in a solid chunky row over then go out all guns (did you know Rosie has a 6 pack) blazing for Fitz in the second race.

We had a wobbly start off first station owing to our nerves. Kings caught on us slowly over the first half of the course, eventually getting 3 whistles coming out of Ditton corner. But here we knew our restart call was coming as we had planned and we executed this exactly as we wanted giving us the push we needed off kings. From there we broke them, inch by inch, length by length, leaving them dropping further and further into the distance. We really fell into a nice rhythm together onto the reach, which is where our boat speed picked up and we started to row like we have been in practise pieces. Our aim for the second race was to row like we did on the reach.

The second race was a lot more controlled and we pushed together as a crew. We held station with Fitz for the first 15 or so strokes but then they pushed away, eventually bumping Queens on Grassy. With two bumps ahead of us, the only possible way to get back into division 1 today was a double over bump, so we will quite happily walk away with a solid row over and second chance tomorrow. After all we love the doublé (nanna mex reference, ask AC/RT the self-proclaimed boat club “fatties").

Tomorrow we hopefully face two races again. We have shown Kings we are faster over the course, and we can repeat a row over tomorrow if we row smart and strong. Then we go for round 2 on Queens. We got them in Lents, now we want them even more in Mays.

A final message as we part from day 1 of May bumps:

"When you are ready, come and get it”

Race Report M2 - Day 1

Day 1 - Result: bumped Emmanuel M2

Starting positions: Peterhouse M2 - Emmanuel M2 - St Catharine's M2 - Trinity Hall M2 - LMBC M3.

Strong off the start, we settled into a solid, if tense rate 36 after James’ rhythm call. Trinity Hall worked hard to come within three-quarters of a boat length in Grassy corner, but they lacked the pace to pose a real threat. Emmanuel M2 held their distance ahead. Coming out of Ditton corner, we stepped down into a powerful, more efficient rate 34, and walked away from Trinity Hall, as they were challenged by LMBC M3 and bumped out half-way down the Reach. Spurred on by this sight, we began grinding down Emma M2 ahead. Following race strategy, we made a push under the railway bridge and ruthlessly closed in on them, as a term of Ivan’s brutal ergs paid off. After another 200m, we bumped Emma at the P&E, wrapping up a herculean row.

Chasing Peterhouse M2 tomorrow. Bring it on.

W3 Mays 2017 - Day 1

Turning up early to the boathouse on a beautiful, sunny day W3 were ready for the challenge of May bumps. Having previously raced against the boats in front we were prepared for the challenge, and a couple of practise starts later, we set off.

Though slightly nervous, we steadily paddled our way down to wait for the division before us to come past but then comes the call of a re-race, delaying us by about half an hour. Again, at the start raring to go, we were foiled by previous division, a poor cox having been hit quite hard by the boat behind.

Slightly frustrated at the wait, we channelled our energy towards the race, knowing we were either going to bump Caius W3 or have to race to over bump and catch Emma W4. Most of us having never competed in bumps before, we sat anxiously in the boat listening out for the start cannon. We were off. A slightly splashy start gave way to a smooth rhythm slowly gaining on Caius, but then, hearing the whistles ahead we knew Caius were getting close to Jesus W4. The next thing we knew we were racing past Caius and Jesus, watching them relax on the sides of the river.

In for the long game now, we aimed to try and make up the lengths to catch Emma. Two corners past us by on a great racing line held by our cox and the power tens coming out of the corner kept us flying along. Finally, amid the cheers of the spectators outside the Plough, we caught Emma. A victory won by tough rowing at a great pace, W3 are ready for tomorrow! 

Pugwash Mays day 1 - We Lost a Rudder, but Gained a Fish

Pugwash takes part in bumps. Things were learnt, things were lost, and things were caught. 

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